The inaugural kick back was a great success. The environment was exciting, vibrant and energetic. However the lack of quality officiating, and in particular the No Contests, was a dissapointment.
The screen shot is from moments before the ref called off the fight due to an unintentional illegal hit to the back of the head. Clearly the hit to the back of the head occurred due to Cora completely covering up and essentially submitting.
No Contests (and poor refereeing in general) create a lose lose situation for the fans, $karate voters, fighters and the league. Fans want to see fights decided by the fighters merits not by a referees decision. $karate voters all “lose” in a no contest (this issue is already being discussed here Kickback 1 No Contests). Fighters do not have the chance to properly showcase their skill and the league does not the have opportunity to properly asses the fighters talent.
Additionally, in a conversation between President Asim and Raymond Daniels a couple days prior to the event and I overheard Raymond mention that one of his biggest frustrations as a KC athlete was the fact the refs didn’t have a complete understanding of the rule set and would improperly intervene during fights. I asked him what the best solution to this problem would be and he replied “education”.
Karate Combat has a unique and dynamic rule set. In order for KC to continue to establish it self as the premier karate brand worldwide I believe KC needs to elevate the level of refereeing. To address this, I suggest karate combat invest in referee seminars where referees, fighters and league ambassadors attend to discuss, refine and review the rule set.
During this seminar referees should review previous fights, listen to and understand the perspective of fighters, and be walked through various scenarios with live demonstrations. One or two days of such a conference would elevate the league as a whole.
Marc Goddard, who has worked with the UFC and KC on numerous occasions, hosts such trainings for mma and would be capable of lead a KC focused training. MMA Officials Training — Goddard MMA
Improving the quality of refereeing should be of top priority and I believe this is one good way to approach this issue.